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Courtesy: Bob Mitchell
Taylor Virden
Duke Ranked Seventh in Preseason IWLCA Poll
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/05/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. - The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) released its Division I preseason rankings Tuesday, with the Duke women's lacrosse team coming in at No. 7 on the list.

The Blue Devils will face eight teams ranked in the IWLCA's preseason top 20 during the course of the regular season, with two other opponents receiving votes. Duke is also one of five Atlantic Coast Conference teams ranked in the top 20.

Head coach Kerstin Kimel's squad will be in pursuit of the program's 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013 after advancing to the national quarterfinals a season ago. Duke returns 24 letterwinners from last year's 12-7 team, led by sophomore Kerrin Maurer, the team's top returning scorer with 49 points in 2012. The Blue Devil offense also returns junior Maddy Morrissey, who tied for the team lead with 25 goals last season, while the defense will be bolstered by junior Taylor Virden, a second team All-South Region selection a year ago.

Duke also welcomed seven freshmen to the program this fall, with the group receiving the No. 2 ranking on Inside Lacrosse's list of the top 10 recruiting classes of 2012.

Following last weekend's South of the Border Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C., the Blue Devils are set to kick off their 2013 campaign at home on Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. against ACC opponent Virginia Tech.

IWLCA Division I Pre-Season Poll - Feb. 4, 2013

Place Team Points First Place Votes
1 Northwestern^ 383 12
2 Syracuse 376 4
3 Florida 366 3
4 Maryland^ 349 1
5 North Carolina^ 321  
6 Loyola 284  
7 Duke 276  
8 Virginia^ 229  
9 Notre Dame 220  
10 Penn State 208  
11 Pennsylvania 195  
12 Dartmouth^ 182  
13 Ohio State^ 139  
14 Massachusetts 112  
15 Georgetown^ 108  
16 Cornell 97  
17 Towson 86  
18 Stony Brook 60  
19 Johns Hopkins 47  
20 Boston College^ 44  

Also receiving votes: Albany, Boston University^, Harvard, Navy, Princeton, Stanford, Vanderbilt^

^ denotes 2013 opponent